St. Mary's High School sophomore educates peers about concussions

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Concussions in soccer soared more than 1,500 percent in the last 25 years according to a study published in the medical journal pediatrics. Now one Saint Mary's High School sophomore is hoping to educate his peers on how bad a concussion can be.

Braden Benz has been suffering with a concussion for about three months now. He still has daily symptoms such as headaches and nausea. He hopes to teach his peers to take concussions seriously.

Benz was playing soccer for Saint Mary's High School in late August. While playing, he was hit in the head and suffered a concussion.

"I was like this is weird. I don't really know what I'm feeling. Thinking was really hard like in math class especially I got bunch of headaches and problems were harder than they usually are," said Benz.

Since then, Benz has had ongoing symptoms and has even passed out at times. His concussion has gotten so bad that he had to travel to the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.

"He was also having some difficulty with the balance and dizziness, some mood changes. He was getting really irritable after because you just don't feel good," said Mary Koolmo, Children's Hospital.

Now, Benz wants to educate his peers on the dangers of concussions. One way he is doing it is by giving talks to his class mates.

"So even to just know a little bit, just to kind of watch for signs and help whoever gets the concussion and know that other people have gone through this," said Benz.

Benz's physical therapist has been working with him for almost two months now and says his condition has improved.

"He's made some progress in his balance. he's got much better at using his vision for his balance. He still has some what I would call sensory integration issues," said Ruth Beachey, CHI St. Alexius.

During his talk Braden is asking students to take concussions seriously and always seek medical help if you think you have sustained a concussion

There's no timetable on when Braden will be fully healed, but he hopes when he's back to full health he can play soccer again.